Thursday, July 25, 2013

This is Going to Take Time

The shock is wearing off and the stoicism is fading. The reality sets in that the bassinet is empty, the diapers go unused, the blankets unswaddled, my arms are empty and my heart is floods over with the sadness of it.

But I look out my window and the sun decides to rise anyway and my toddler still needs breakfast and stories read and it just seems unfair that life has to move on.

Each morning, light floods my window and Kyle greets me with a morning kiss. He is a routine man and sticking with the routine is working for him right now but our routine has changed a bit. After he kisses me, he opens his scriptures and reads the same passage:

7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son [and my daughter], that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.
-Doctrine and Covenants 122
The spirit descends upon my heart as he reads them and I am comforted. There is peace in all of this, but I have to seek it, to search and ask and sometimes beg for it. 
It is hard to think about James to be honest. My memories of him are largely of my pregnancy. The fact that his presence in my body caused my legs to ache and carrying him exhausted me, especially walking up stairs. His kicks were forceful and dramatic and he would make my belly ripple over and over and over. With those memories I combine the memorizing of his body. I never saw his body and his spirit mutually coexist and that is possibly the hardest part to deal with. That I have to connect the pieces in my mind. To imagine those tiny feet as the ones who kicked me inside, to bring life to his memory. 
So needless to say, this is hard. People ask how I am doing and honestly...I have no idea. I don't know what to say, my mind goes blank every single time and so I just mumble, "good, considering." I leave it at that and save the real emotional work for when it really comes and hits me.  
Sometimes I wonder if people are freaked out that I am not crying more, but the thing is, crying is so exhausting. It is so much work and sometimes I just don't feel like crying anymore, sometimes I don't feel like opening my heart up to every single person who asks. I save it because my heart is tender and this is going to take time.


  1. I think you should grieve however you see fit. I'm so inspired by your courage. Thinking of you!

  2. Dear Gina, I don't know you, but I saw your story after you commented on 'A Blog About Love' the other day. I read your beautiful birth story (you are a very talented writer), and it's so, so full of love. I've been thinking about you and your family ever since. I'm a mother too, and my heart aches for you. I get teary every time I think about it. I just wanted to reach out to you to let you know that you're not alone. I'm praying for you and your family and sending you lots of love. You are an amazing woman and mother, and I can tell it from the words that you wrote. You are so right that crying is exhausting, and sometimes, you just can't cry anymore. Everyone grieves differently, too. But you're not grieving alone. As a mother, I know how much you love James and always will. It is going to take time. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Sending you lots of love and keeping you in my prayers.

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  4. Gina,

    I, too, found your comment on A Blog About Love and I, too, had to comment.

    Your story hits very very very close to home. No, I haven't experienced it personally, but my best friend has: my mom. She has experienced the same heartbreak of the empty bassinet, the intense loneliness in your arms, and the sorrow that comes in the quite of the night.

    I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. Some of the most BRAVE women I know are enduring (or have endured) this same heartbreak. I really like what Breanne said above. Everyone does grieve differently, but she is right- you are not alone. And your little James will always be with you. There is no right way to grieve- I've learned this in my own personal life with my own personal losses.

    Sending you all the strength and love I have. I may not understand your exact circumstance, but I do understand living a life that is different than you imagined.. and I understand the type of loss that hearts in places you thought possible.

    I hope it's okay.... but I've attached a story of an amazing friend of mine who just went through something similar. You may find peace and comfort in her words. Also, I attached my mom's story. It all happened over 30 years ago, but it still has a tender place in my heart.

    Your new friend,


    p.s. you are a wonderful, wonderful mother. Your words are so beautiful.

  5. Gina,

    I'm so sorry. I know what it's like to go through a bigger than life trial and then when (like you said) the shock and stoicism fade you're still left with all the pain and loss. It's the hardest part in my opinion. I'm sure this whole process will come in waves of pain and peace and over time more peace will come. While I know loss, I can't imagine exactly what you're going through and I'm so sorry. I'm still keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and your little James will never be forgotten. You're so brave to share your story. I'm sure the fact that you're such a brilliant writer and can put words to this trial is so helpful to women that have these same feelings but can't find the words. Lots of love Gina!

  6. Dearest Gina,

    My heart aches for you and your family, and all the mothers and families who have suffered this particular loss, as I myself suffered almost a decade ago.

    In a few weeks, on August 18th, my family will have our 10th "birthday" remembrance for my son Liam Patrick. Liam died, much as your James did, within the relative safety of my womb during my 38th week of pregnancy. Like you, I realized I hadn't felt him move in much too long. There was an ultrasound after the absence of his heartbeat on the monitor. There was my raw, animalistic cries through the midwife's office when the ultrasound confirmed what I already knew- that my Liam was gone. There was the decision to be induced and to labor naturally as a family, as we had planned for months. There was the excruciating task of going home to pack for the hospital and telling our four older children that it was time to labor, but that their beloved little brother was already gone. My strong, active, perfectly healthy baby boy had managed to tangle himself within his life providing umbilical cord until he could no longer breath or move.

    Our family "walked through the valley of the shadow of death" as you and yours are doing now. The pain maintained a fluid presence within me- moving like the tides from unbearable to numbing to excruciating to inconceivable. Like you, I had a toddler who still needed me, as well as three older kids who were suffering not only the loss of their brother, but the loss of their mother to her grief. If it was not for my personal faith and a very compassionate grief counselor I do not know that I would have been able to survive. But I did. I am still here. And I still remember with every fiber of my being what it felt like when Liam was alive and he moved within me. And I still remember the way it felt when he left me. And I still miss him everyday. And tears are rolling down my face as I write this and imagine where you are on this journey that only mothers who have experienced this loss can possibly understand. My heart and my prayers go out to you.

    If I can be so bold as to offer you any words from my experience it would be to honor yourself and your James in any and all ways you see fit. Talk about him as much as you desire, put his pictures up in your house, cry as often as you need to, do not worry about what others think- they may love you and feel compassion, but this is your journey, and you must own your path. And do not be afraid or feel ashamed if in your alone times you feel anger towards God, or confusion as to why your son was taken. God is the perfect parent and he can handle your anger and will continue to love you perfectly. "Faith, Hope, and Love. And the greatest of these is love." It is true. My love for my son, Liam, and my God, is greater than my grief, my anger, my depression. And you will find that your Love is greater than your suffering. That your Love is big-medicine that will heal your broken heart and help you move forward through your life.

    I will not lie to you- the loss of your child does not get easier as the years go by, but it does get easier to bear. I do not cry everyday for Liam, but when I think of him, or what he might look like today, and the tears come to my eyes I let them fall proudly! They are a sign of my love for my son and the connection I carry with him on this earth until the day I hold him again in heaven. We will see our son's again, and until then, they are always with us.

    Peace be with you and yours, Dearest Gina. And if you ever need someone to talk to you can email me at

    With love and compassion, Laura Yolo